Recent explosion of microstock photographers and popularity of the this type of work resulted in two hardcopy books published in the last year. There is “Microstock money shots” by Ellen Boughn and “Taking stock” by Rob Sylvan. Those books, although taking different approach, cover the territory pretty well. In this environment, it is hard to write another book on the subject and contribute something new to the discussion.
“(micro)STOCK” by Nicole S. Young has several advantages right from the start. Being an e-book, it is both short and clearly focused. It also costs only $5 for an instant download. Nicole does a great job describing right at the beginning, what the microstock images are and where they tend to be used. The rest of the introducing chapters are more like an essay, with thoughts and comments. There are example stories of hers and few others photographers, what led them to becoming stock photographers. It is interesting to see how different backgrounds have people ending up doing the same job, and then do it in a totally different manner. However, this part of the e-book does not contain any useful tips or advice.
In my opinion, chapter 4 is the greatest strength of the “(micro)STOCK” e-book. It discusses in detail the typical reasons for rejections. It points what things needs to be avoided, both in shooting and post processing, to create the most marketable images. What to pay attention to when choosing the images to submit. All issues are illustrated with great images, which makes it easier to understand. It is a pity that some software tricks to fix some of the mistakes are missing or advice on what in post-processing tents to affect the final images.
What you will also not find in this e-book is what types of photos to submit not where (to which agency/agencies). The author herself is an exclusive contributor to iStock, and her writing is strongly affected by that perspective. You need to keep in mind for yourself that there are different agencies on the market, some equally good, but with very different collection of photographs. What will be accepted in one agency might be automatically rejected in the other, regardless how good technically or creative it is.
Overall, “(micro)STOCK” e-book is a good choice for photographers thinking of trying if their images will be accepted and sell through microstock and for those who already started, but struggle with many initial rejections. Keeping in mind all the time, that rejections cannot be avoided, you will learn how to avoid those most comment mistakes and some-how to fix them.
If you purchase the “(micro)STOCK” e-book until 11:59pm PST on June 11, 2011, the price of PDF download is just $4 with the code MICRO4 or you can save 20% when you buy 5 or more PDF e-books from the whole Craft & Vision collection. If you are new to their e-books, just look around what other great authors and titles are there. You can also find many of them reviewed here, on blog, just search for “Craft & Vision” in the search box at the bottom of the page.
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